Grilled Squid with Fennel and Figs cooked in a Baca with Lemon and Walnut Dressing

11:05 am on 6 August 2007

Another recipe from my recent trip to Brac, figs and fennel grow wild everywhere. I watched anchovies being painstakingly prepared by the ladies on the wharf in Milna, each one lovely put to bed in its jar, smothered with olive oil. An island of contrast, it’s both old and young and has a wonderful naivety still.

(Serves 10)

Ingredients

  • 10 fresh cleaned squid
  • 1 chilli finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme finely chopped
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly milled pepper and salt

Lemon and walnut dressing

  • 200mls extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons zest, segment and juice
  • ¼ cup freshly shelled walnuts roasted and chopped to resemble fine gravel
  • 4 freshly packed anchovy fillets chopped
  • Freshly milled black pepper

For the Baca

  • 10 fresh figs
  • 10 medium size fennel bulbs
  • 150mls extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 10 sprigs wild thyme
  • Scattering of black olives
  • Freshly milled pepper and sea salt
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Method

Squid

Split and score with a sharp knife and marinade in the olive oil, chilli, thyme and lemon, season. Set to one side.

Dressing

Combine all the ingredients and season. Cover and place in the fridge and allow the flavours to infuse.

Baca

Place the fennel, figs in side neatly sitting on their bottoms, scatter over the herbs and olives. Splash over the olive oil and season.  Bake in the fire for 30 minutes.

To serve

Grill the squid over the open fire, place on a serving plate and spoon over lemon and walnut dressing.

Remove the Baca from the fire and carefully lift the lid and serve next to the squid.

Peter's Note

There is no real substitute for the flavour of cooking in a Baca or over a fire.

Match with

Riesling

Soljans 2006
Greenhough Hope Vineyard 2006
Nottage Hill 2004

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